September 15, 2011, 12:37 PM

eBay goes after mobile shoppers with a new ad campaign

The online marketplace will use TV commercials and QR codes.

Stefany Moore

Associate Director of Research

Lead Photo

The eBay Motors mobile app.

As the holiday shopping season approaches, eBay Inc. this week began rolling out a major ad campaign aimed at mobile shoppers. The campaign includes television commercials, outdoor display ads and social media advertising.

Dubbed “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay,” the campaign launches this week with six 30-second TV commercials on cable network shows “Top Gear,” “SportsCenter,” “Tosh.0,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “Top Chef” and “The Rachel Zoe Project.” EBay is using the tagline “Buy it New. Buy it now,” to highlight its mobile apps and fixed-price, new items—as opposed to the auction side of its online business.

While 62% of eBay’s 200 million live listings are fixed-price items and 70% are new products, the online marketplace says, some analysts have said eBay has struggled with its brand image, as many shoppers view eBay as a place to go mainly for used or out-of-season items.

For its outdoor display ads, eBay will use quick-response, or QR, codes near train stations and malls. When scanned with a mobile device, the codes will take consumers to eBay landing pages with different products highlighted. EBay says it will unveil the outdoor ads in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles beginning Oct. 17.

Online ads will blanket YouTube and Yahoo, and eBay  says it will place banner placements on Mashable, eHow, The New York Times, SF Gate, InStyle and Pandora.

The online marketplace says the campaign, which was designed by San Francisco ad agency Venables Bell & Partners, goes after avid shoppers in the fashion, motors and electronics categories.

“EBay’s target customers are shopping enthusiasts—people who are passionate about shopping, whenever and wherever the moment of inspiration strikes,” says Richelle Parham, chief marketing officer at eBay North America. “Shopping enthusiasts are heavy online users with a particular affinity for mobile shopping, and this campaign extends eBay’s powerful brand to reach them at the moment they want to shop.”

EBay says it expects to exceed $4 billion in sales volume on its mobile apps this year, double the $2 billion it brought in last year.

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